Members’ Construction Competition Rules 2024

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Soldering Iron

We are holding the Construction Competition on March 14th!

The aim of this annual contest is to encourage members to build either radio equipment or ancillary items which enhance their radio operations and to exhibit these to encourage others to follow their example.

Entries can include any radio-related equipment or software, for example, Morse oscillator, test unit, QRP rig, computer/radio interface, PSU, Tx/Rx, linear, antenna, ATU…..

Entries can have been built at any time, but to be accepted as an entry, they must not have been entered in any previous SDARC construction contest.

If YOU have built something that helps you operate, why not enter it?  Remember it is not necessarily the most complex equipment that wins!

Provide sufficient details with your entry to help judges understand the purpose and operation of the entry…. ”Sell” the concept and its usefulness through your description, diagrams, circuits etc!

The contest will have five principal categories:-

Homebrew – This will be for equipment built completely by the club member. (If the equipment is a magazine project with a PCB available, then, the PCB may be used.)

Kit – This will be for equipment built from a kit. The kit should require some soldering to the component level.

Hybrid – This will be for homebrew equipment which also contains one or more kits.

Antenna – This will be for special homebrew antenna systems. For this type of contest entry, the member will just need to provide photographs of the antenna together with a specification, a drawing, and details of the construction. A list of countries worked with the antenna should also be provided.

Software – This category will be for radio-related software. This can be either, a new piece of “stand-alone” software, or a piece written to add extra features to some existing software.

In addition, three Constructor categories may be brought to bear:-

Novice – This will be for those members who have not previously built or exhibited any equipment.

GeneralThis will be for those members who have built and entered previously.

Professional – This may be awarded to experienced constructors whose work is of an exceptional standard.

The number of Awards will reflect the scope of entries and may include awards made to deal with tie-break situations.

The judges’ decisions on all the awards are final.

Please complete an entry form beforehand so you can bring it on the night. You can download the entry form here.

Den’ ACMs Proposal

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Den’ ACMs Proposal at Club, 18th January, focused on creating a 2024 Award which required the ‘construction’ and ‘operation’ of a fully portable and structurally independent  “Go Box” or “Go Bag”  based ham station.

Having outlined that we most often operate from either our shack (whether a bench under the stairs or a dedicated ‘funkraum’) or /Portable with the car assisting with power and often aerial support, Den laid down the challenge to use the winter and spring of 2024 to ‘build’ an independent “go box” station which is stand alone and independent in terms of power and aerial support structures. 

The proposal saw the winter ‘construction’ phase culminating in a summer weekend ‘show and demo’ day – a  get-together in a local park – maybe with a wider social (picnic/BBQ) component added in.

To ensure the challenge empowers as many members as possible, the proposed structure would allow members to build an ‘any band, any mode(s), any power, any purpose’ fully portable but independent station and that on the ‘demo day’ all members attending get the chance to be the Judges – evaluating and voting for what they consider to be the ‘best’ station – criteria to be agreed.

Reporting the morning after the Talk,  it was clear that the proposal sparked members’ imaginations and a show of hands after the Talk revealed over half of the 23 members present intended to build and enter for this Award.

After some really broad and useful discussions around rules, boundaries, and assessment criteria, it was agreed to schedule a ’round table’ discussion evening into the Club calendar in a  couple of weeks to agree on the “rules” and enable members to start planning and ‘building’ their chosen “go box” or “go bag” solution.

Our last meeting at Pinetrees before the summer break.

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This week we will be planning for VHF NFD and discussing the new OFCOM consultation.

Please remember we are meeting at Barbury Castle throughout July and August. You’re welcome to bring your radio kit and operate /p.

British Science Week 2023

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As mentioned at the club, Simon, G4WQG, the RSGB Area 10 Rep. and I attended Swindon UTC to not only represent SDARC, but also the RSGB at the start of British Science Week.

We were demonstrating Amateur Radio and RF communications to the local Swindon University Technical College students and tutors by setting up the Special Event Station, GB2BSW.

We operated both Voice and Data modes whilst talking to the students, many of whom were extremely engaged with what we were doing and plenty of questions being asked.

We used the club Kenwood TS-590S, set to 50w, and a 40m inverted V antenna, made by myself fed with a 1:1 Balun at the centre. The antenna was mounted on a 10m Spiderpole, which wasn’t fully extended and was bungeed to the stair handrail at the back of the college. The antenna performed absolutely brilliantly and tuned perfectly and amazingly across all bands using the TS-590S inbuilt ATU. It provide a 1:1 match across 80m, 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 15m 12m, and 10m, which was incredible.

On FT8 we were being heard out in Australia and across to the East coast of America by numerous stations.

We worked 64 QSOs, 23 Countries of which 19 have been confirmed on QRZ so far.
Furthest DX was Japan, JE1NVD on FT8.

We also worked several UK stations on Phone on 40m which the students found particularly interesting.

We had an absolutely fantastic day and were greeted well by the staff, tutors, and students. At the end of the day, we had a discussion about returning and possibly providing some interactive electronic construction during the day. Hopefully will be a good ongoing relationship with the college and inspire some of the local youths.

Dom, 2E0WHQ

Construction Competition 2023 – Winners

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Congratulations to all the winners of the Construction Competition.

  • 2E0CYS – Peter – Function Generator (KIT)
  • G4OED – Graham – Morse Key (Homebrew)
  • G0EPC – Paul – 9:1 Balun (Antenna)

Paul also brought in a 160M and 2M radio he built many years ago to show.

Rigs For Sale

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The Swindon & District Amateur Radio Club is upgrading its current radio equipment and currently has for sale the following radio equipment:

  • Kenwood TS2000E – £890
    • HF/VHF/UHF (HF/50/144/430) Shack-in-a-box.
    • 100W/50W output,
    • 4 antenna output,
    • Built-in ATU.
    • Satellite operation.
    • Radio,
    • Power Lead,
    • Microphone,
    • No box,
    • A printed Manual can be provided if necessary but can be downloaded online.
  • Kenwood TS2000X – £970
    • HF/VHF/UHF/23cm (HF/50/144/430/1200)
    • Ultimate Shack-in-a-box.
    • 100W/50W/10W output,
    • 5 antenna outputs,
    • Built-in ATU.
    • Satellite operation.
    • Radio,
    • Power Lead,
    • Microphone,
    • OPTO isolator for data modes,
    • Breakout box for separate PTT & ALC I/O, No box,
    • A printed manual can be provided if necessary but can be downloaded online.

If anyone is interested in any of the above radios, then please contact Dom. Sensible offers may be considered. Remember that these club radios have had very little use, when compared with a normal radio and are of a known origin when comparing them to other similar radios on the market.

Collection from Swindon only! We want you to be happy with your purchase and therefore would like you to see it before you buy it and take it safely home with you. 🙂

Demos could be arranged on request.

73

Dom, 2E0WHQ
Chairman SDARC

Worked All Squares (2023)

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This year’s club competition is about to begin. We will be running two competitions. The first to be released is Worked All Squares.

Work as many LARGE SQUARES as you can during the Award period, to encourage some competitive fun playing radio, to raise the on-air profile of the club, and to reward members making use of their radio gear. A large square is the first four characters of a Maidenhead locator, eg: IO91.

You will need to upload your ADIF log from time to time so that we can process it and update the league tables. We will automatically calculate who is a member from our master list so you don’t need to worry about how you log it.

If you are an SWL and have yet to gain your licence, you can still take part!

For more information visit the dedicated page available within the menu item “Worked All…”

Good luck!

Members’ Construction Competition Rules 2023

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Soldering Iron

We are holding the Construction Competition on March 9th!

The aim of this annual contest is to encourage members to build either radio equipment or ancillary items which enhance their radio operations and to exhibit these to encourage others to follow their example.

Entries can include any radio-related equipment or software, for example, Morse oscillator, test unit, QRP rig, computer/radio interface, PSU, Tx/Rx, linear, antenna, ATU…..

Entries can have been built at any time, but to be accepted as an entry, they must not have been entered in any previous SDARC construction contest.

If YOU have built something that helps you operate, why not enter it?  Remember it is not necessarily the most complex equipment that wins!

Provide sufficient details with your entry to help judges understand the purpose and operation of the entry…. ”Sell” the concept and its usefulness through your description, diagrams, circuits etc!

The contest will have five principal categories:-

Homebrew – This will be for equipment built completely by the club member. (If the equipment is a magazine project with a PCB available, then, the PCB may be used.)

Kit – This will be for equipment built from a kit. The kit should require some soldering to the component level.

Hybrid – This will be for homebrew equipment which also contains one or more kits.

Antenna – This will be for special homebrew antenna systems. For this type of contest entry, the member will just need to provide photographs of the antenna together with a specification, a drawing, and details of the construction. A list of countries worked with the antenna should also be provided.

Software – This category will be for radio-related software. This can be either, a new piece of “stand-alone” software, or a piece written to add extra features to some existing software.

In addition, three Constructor categories may be brought to bear:-

Novice – This will be for those members who have not previously built or exhibited any equipment.

GeneralThis will be for those members who have built and entered previously.

Professional – This may be awarded to experienced constructors whose work is of an exceptional standard.

The number of Awards will reflect the scope of entries and may include awards made to deal with tie-break situations.

The judges’ decisions on all the awards are final.

Please complete an entry form beforehand so you can bring it on the night. You can download the entry form here.

Swindon wins the double!

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Swindon Radio Club won both the 144FMAC and the 432FMAC for 2022. A fantastic effort by the entire team.

In the 2m contest we scored more than 2nd and 3rd place combined. We didn’t quite achieve the same thing on the 432 version although pretty close.